Dear Dave: We had just started your plan and saved $1,000 for our baby emergency fund when our laptop computer died. We do all of our finances online, including budgeting and banking. Should we dip into the emergency fund to replace the computer?
Yes, I think you should. Computers used to be considered a luxury, but today many people find themselves in your exact situation. They use computers not as toys or just to surf the web, but to help run their households and organize their lives and finances on a daily basis.
Now, upgrading at this point to the biggest, baddest, coolest thing on the planet is a no-no. That kind of thing is what we call a "want." There's a difference between a "want" and a "need." So, you need stay calm and go find a good basic computer that will take care of your online needs.
Trust me, you can get a good new laptop for about $300. That way, you can take care of your computing while only putting a small, temporary dent in your emergency fund!